In the past few weeks, Kanye West has gone on an all-out campaign against Sony and Universal Music Group over his masters and publishing contracts. His tirades have been met with equal speculation and support from fellow artists. Many agreed that major labels offer artists predatory contracts, but suggested that Kanye hand over the masters to his G.O.O.D. Music signees, lest he look like a hypocrite. On Wednesday, West announced that he’d be doing just that.
“I’m giving all G.O.O.D. Music [artists] back the 50% share I have of their masters,” Kanye tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. The move was immediately met with support from two G.O.O.D. signees, Big Sean and 070 Shake.
I’m giving all Good music artist back the 50% share I have of their masters
— ye (@kanyewest) September 23, 2020
“Thank you!” Sean tweeted, “this would help so much.”
Thank you!!! This would help so much https://t.co/6yR3fAKlwB
— Sean Don (@BigSean) September 23, 2020
“Thank you,” Shake wrote, “starting at home.”
Thank you @kanyewest starting at home
— DANI MOON (@070shake) September 23, 2020
In recent weeks, Kanye has threatened to stop releasing music until he gains access to his masters. One of his personal advisers suggested numerous options, from litigation against Universal, forming an “equal and not one-sided” joint venture with Universal and Sony to even going as far as re-recording songs in order to own the new masters outright.
He went on to tweet the entirety of his recording contracts, which lead to speculation that Jay-Z had sold Kanye’s masters in a deal to receive his own. Kanye quickly attempted to refute the rumors, claiming that he still sees Jay as a brother. On Tuesday, he tweeted about his desire for artists to form unions and gain control from larger record labels.
Stay tuned for further updates regarding the potential legal battle.